Cork City Civil Defence was nominated by the Civil Defence Board to host National Exercise 2008 on the weekend of the 11th to 13th April 2008. This exercise is intended to fulfil some of the pre-requisites for Civil Defence in relation to the Framework for Major Emergency Management document.

The exercise took place in the area in and adjacent to the National Maritime College of Ireland and the Inner Harbour area. The teams were accommodated in the Cork International Airport Hotel for the weekend.

Cork City Civil Defence hosts National Exercise 2008


The exercise was based on a simulated inter-agency emergency which tested the Civil Defence organisations response capability in the context of the Major Emergency Management Framework.  The response consisted of trained teams of Civil Defence members partaking in a co-ordinated Search & Rescue/Recovery Operation both on land and water. The exercise was designed to determine their individual and team skills and to demonstrate their ability to work with other Civil Defence units and outside agencies in a co-ordinated manner. It also provided a focal point for Civil Defence training and the wider Emergency Services Community.

The exercise also focused on :

  • Boat Handling Skills
  • Casualty Handling
  • Communications
  • Command & Control
  • Logistics
  • Welfare
  • Search Management and Co-ordination
  • Media skills
  • Liaison with outside agencies
  • In addition to the Search Operation teams were also given the opportunity to participate in the following workshops:

    • Forensics
    • Water related Medical Conditions
    • Pollution Control
    • Helicopter Landing Site Preparation
    • Search Management and Co-ordination

    All activities were conducted under the control of appointed officers from Civil Defence and by members of other agencies as listed below:

    • Irish Naval Service
    • An Garda Siochana
    • Port of Cork
    • RNLI
    • Irish Coastguard
    • Cork/Kerry area group on Major Emergency Management.
    • Dr. John Murphy, Medical Doctor


    The exercise was centred in the following locations:

    • NMCI
    • Foreshore from Ringaskiddy Deep Water Berth to Golden Rock (local landmark)
    • Spike Island
    • Inner Harbour waters bounded by the above

    On Friday night 11th April 08 at 21.00hrs the teams were briefed on Exercise Respond. (Appendix 4).

    On Saturday morning, Cork City Civil Defence personnel mobilised to the site at 07.15hrs to set up the Control and Communications assisted by Cork North Civil Defence and Welfare facilities assisted by Kildare Civil Defence.

    The participating teams departed the hotel at 07.45hrs in convoy format and under escort from An Garda Siochana. Upon arrival at NMCI, all participating teams were given a safety briefing on Water Awareness and the NMCI environs. A further update on the ‘current situation’ was also provided by the Incident Co-ordinator. For exercise purposes, the participating teams were grouped as follows:


    Teams participating in Exercise Respond
    Group 1
    Group 2
    Group 3
    Group 4
    Cork South Cork West Cork North Waterford City
    Limerick County Kerry Carlow Wicklow
    Tipperary South Wexford Kilkenny Limerick City
    Clare Dublin Kildare Tipperary North


    An Exercise Communications Centre operated as a focal point for event communication and reporting, incorporating appropriate personnel and resources to enable decision-making as required.


    Radio Communications consisted of the following:

    • Handheld radios; UHF, & Marine VHF
    • Vehicle radios; VHF & UHF
    • Base station radios; UHF, VHF & Marine VHF
    • Multi channel radio repeaters
    • Battery chargers and ancillary equipment

    Operations commenced at 09.00hrs with briefings for Team Leaders and communications operators as part of the exercise.

    Following Pre-launch Inspections by members of the RNLI, (Appendix 5) the boats were launched.

    For the purposes of the exercise, Cork City Civil Defence provided the Controllers of Operations. Lt Cdr Martin Brett acted as on scene commander on behalf of the Irish Naval Service.

    The exercise ran on a continuous basis in parallel with associated workshops. Following a hot debrief at 16.00hrs, operations ceased at 16.30hrs. Teams then departed the site NMCI and returned to the hotel under escort from An Garda Siochana.

    As the exercise was intended to highlight areas of the Framework for Major Emergency Management an off-site co-ordinating centre was set up in the NMCI by Mr. Peter Daly, Chief Emergency Management Officer and Mr. David O’Sullivan Inter-agency Emergency Management Officer. There was a constant flow of information between exercise control and the off-site co-ordination centre which was set up in accordance with the framework layout. This proved to be very valuable to the media exercise that was running in parallel to the main exercise. Civil Defence Officers and other visitors had opportunity to visit and be briefed on information management throughout the day.

    12 Probationary Fire Fighter successfully completed their training in March 2008. The passing out parade was held in Ballyvolane Fire Station. In attendance were Lord Mayor Donal Counihan, Director of Services, Recreation Amenity and Culture, Valerie O’Sullivan and all the leading officers from Cork City Fire Brigade. Family and friends of the recruits were also present. 9 new recruits joined in September 2008 and are currently undergoing training. The next round of recruitment is expected to be in 2013. Details will be advertised and placed on this website


    New Recruits


     Group picture of new recruits -  March 2008.

     New Recruits and Lord Mayor

    Lord Mayor Donal Counihan and Seamus Coughlan , Assistant Chief Fire Officer with the new recruits.


     Fire Brigade Staff


    Left to right: David Spillet, Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Seamus Coughlan, Assistant Chief Fire Officer, John Ryan, Chief Fire Officer, Valerie O’Sullivan, Director of Services, Recreation, Amenity and Culture, Adrian Spillet, Third Officer, Noel Rawley, Second Officer and Michael. O’Flynn, Third Fire Officer.


    New Recruits 2


    New Recruits 1


    New Recruits 3

    Fire Safety at Christmas

    Christmas time is a great time of family and togetherness. However it can also be a time of increased fire risk. In order to have a fire safe Christmas please remember the following advice.

    Your Chimney

    Have your chimney cleaned before the holiday season.

    Christmas Tree

    • Purchase a non-shedding tree. Check the tree for freshness before purchase, fresh needles will bend, dry needles will break. Needles should not fall off if you bang the trunk on the ground.
    • As soon as you get home cut at least 25mm off the trunk, this exposes fresh wood. Immediately place the tree in a bucket of water and if you are not setting up the tree for a few days keep it outside standing in a bucket of water.
    • Avoid placing the tree close to a fireplace or radiator. Be careful not to block a door with the Christmas tree or the re arranged furniture.
    • The tree should be mounted in a sturdy stand. The trunk of the tree should stand in a container of water and the water should be kept topped up. Tall trees should be secured at the top.
    • Ensure lights comply with a safety standard. Check lights for frayed or exposed wires. Do not attempt to repair a worn set of lights, replace them. Replace broken bulbs only with similar bulbs. Do not leave lights on for prolonged periods and always switch off lights at night and when leaving the area unattended.
    • Decorations should preferably be non combustible.
    • Turn off the heat in the room at night to slow the drying out of the tree.
    • Remove the tree as soon as possible after Christmas. It is recommended that the tree should not be kept indoors for more than two weeks. Dispose of the tree at a bring site/ recycling centre. Never burn a tree in a wood stove or fireplace.
    • Artificial trees should be flame retardant, check the label.


    • Place candles in a secure holder and locate them where they cannot be easily knocked over.
    • Do not place candles on a Christmas tree. Do not go near a Christmas tree with any naked flame, lighter, matches or candles.
    • Never leave lighted candles unattended and never place them close to combustible decorations or to curtains.
    • Put tea candles and night lights on a suitable heat resistant container. Never put them directly on a combustible surface e.g. television or table.

    Open Fires

    • Use a spark guard at all times.
    • Never hang Christmas cards or decorations directly over a fireplace.
    • Do not throw wrapping paper onto the fire.

    Other Safety Tips

    • A competent adult should fit toys, which are powered from the mains, with a safety plug.
    • Do not overload sockets. Keep cables tidy and avoid a trip hazard.
    • Only use certified outdoor lights outside. Use proper watertight connectors on outdoor lights. Secure outdoor lights against wind damage and locate light strings and power cables where pets cannot chew or become entangled in them.

    Last thing at night

    • Unplug lights and other electrical equipment
    • Put a spark guard in front of the fire
    • Check for any smouldering cigarette ends in furniture.
    • Check the kitchen and switch off all appliances.
    • Close all room doors.

    Check your smoke alarms NOW

    Cork City Fire Department


    Cork City Fire Brigade - Serving you all 365 days of the year.

    Cork City Council, An Garda Siochana and Health Service Executive recently exercised their respective Major Emergency plans in accordance with the New Framework for Major Emergency Management.

    The exercise was divided into 2 sections. (a) 07/10/008 at the Jack Lynch Tunnel and (b) 16/10/08 at City Hall, Cork.

    Three months of work culminated on the night of Tuesday 7th October from 19.30 hrs to 00.30 hrs, when upwards of 120 persons gathered at the Jack Lynch Tunnel in Cork to carry out a Major Emergency Exercise, the first of its kind in the South Region under the New Framework for Major Emergency Management. Organizations that attended / contributed to the exercise were:

    • Cork City Council,
    • Cork City Fire Brigade,
    • Cork City Civil Defence,
    • Tunnel Management Building Personnel,
    • Tunnel Safety Officers,
    • Health Service Executive
    • An Garda Siochana
    • Cork County Fire & Rescue Service
    • Cork County Council,
    • Red Cross,
    • St. John’s College (Media studies),
    • Fitzpatrick’s Recovery Services
    • Smoke Concept Systems and various other agencies.

    The Major Emergency was declared at 21.30 hrs and Emergency Services arrived shortly where they found a major Road Traffic accident had occurred in the Southbound bore of the tunnel. A Road Tanker, 2 minibuses, 8 cars were involved with a total casualty count of approximately 40 persons which were made up of recruits from Cork city Fire Brigade, An Garda Siochana and Civil Defence / Red Cross members.

    Over the hour and a half, the On Site Co-ordination Centre was set up at the tunnel management building and involved the operation of the information management system. The Fire service worked in very difficult conditions involving smoke, heat and noise to remove all casualties, and along with their HSE colleagues, Civil Defence and other Voluntary services delivered all casualties to a casualty clearing station run by the HSE. The Co-ordination centre ran a very efficient process and the information management system worked well on the night. A media briefing was held at the centre towards the end of the exercise. Exercise was completed at approx. 23.15 and a short debrief held for all involved at the Tunnel Management building.

    Christmas Safety Tips

    Model Railway Raffle in aid of Temple Street Hospital

    Please support Cork City Fire Brigade Sports and Social Fundraising taking place in Wilton Shopping Centre this week. Tickets are just €1.00 and can be bought each day until Saturday 21st December 2013. See Twitter @corkcityfire for picture and updates.